The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has received several complaints about a TVC for health insurance company iSelect where a kid playing rugby is described as ‘the fridge’ because of his height and weight.
The purpose of the iSelect ad is to promote its new ‘Health Cover Check-Up’ tool that can help people ensure that their health insurance policy is right for their current life circumstances.
Check out the ad and see what you think:
The ASB received three complaints about the iSelect advert:
- It shows children (boys in particular) that it’s perfectly acceptable to be violent in a sports’ match. The boy called “Fridge” violently shoves the small boys out of his way to scoring a goal and his mother congratulates him and shows that she thinks his behaviour is fine.
- I think this isn’t appropriate at any time on television, particularly not when children are watching, and particularly not in the current climate where domestic violence is such a huge problem in this country.
- Large boy referred to as “The Fridge” very insulting and humiliating to overweight children.
In response to the complaints an iSelect representative said to the ASB: “The conversation between the two mothers at the rugby match is an intentionally humorous depiction to demonstrate the insight that mothers have a tendency to be extremely worried and cautious for the wellbeing of their children, no matter what their age or size.
“Showing the son as a physically much larger and stronger child is used to exaggerate the humour and human truth that all mothers have an innate need to protect their children, even as they grow up and start becoming bigger than their parents! In fact the child known as ‘Fridge’ was played by a 22 year old actor.
“We intentionally chose to depict a 22 year old adult alongside nine year old children (a 13 year age gap) to emphasise the unrealistic nature of the scenario. The use of the term ‘Fridge’ is used in an endearing way, highlighted by the fact that even the mother refers to her son as ‘Fridge’ in the 30 second advertisement.”
The ASB ruled in favour of iSelect, saying “Zac is shown to score a try we see him being surrounded by his teammates who are all congratulating him and considered that Zac is shown as the hero of the game, and is not shown in a negative manner, and overall there is no suggestion that Zac is discriminated against because of his weight or appearance”.
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